By Garba Musa
Buoyed by the euphoria of his big win at the Supreme Court on 12th January, 2024 the popularly elected Governor of Kano State, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, put the icing on his cake by announcing the formation of Kano Elders Council (KEC).
What prompted the Executive Governor of Kano State to establish or proposed the establishment of a council with that name is everybody’s guess.
For most of the discerning minds in Kano or elsewhere, it is common knowledge that Kano lacks a single individual of the category of people you can call an elder by the measurement of some people.
Those that overlook the multitude of elders in Kano State where so obsessed with power and the stupendous wealth that came with it during their short foray into the world of politics, Nigerian style.
This category of people have arrogated to themselves the ownership of Kano and the Alfa and Omega of everything and who gets what, how and when.
They were quick to dispatch their immoral and boisterous errand dogs to Radio stations to abuse and insult any elder who pointed out their undoing’s or suggest or recommend a return to the status quo. That was how low the state has dipped into. Unfortunate, to say the least.
The situation was climaxed by the outburst of then Kano No. 1 citizen who said “Kano was bereft” of elders and if there were some, they must be so-called or fakes. See?
The history of Kano has clearly shown an organized society with a functional line of communication between neighbours in particular wards or hamlets even before the coming of the colonialists.
Nothing happens within an enclave without the authority knowing and doing the doable. The ward Head knows every member of his ward by name and would approach him in the event of any unwholesome action by his household.
The same applied to the village and District Heads. Society was therefore safeguarded from the recent incursions and hellish activities being experienced nowadays.
In terms of assistance to the less privileged in the society, the elite has lost it due to the influence of Western Education and the individualistic attitude attached to it.
It is now me, my wife and children. So bad and against our faith, but it is the norm now. At times of the rainy season, when people found it difficult to exit their homes, the well-to-do in the vicinity will send measured grains with money to households to enable them feed themselves.
I was a witness to this at the age of ten in Agadasawa Quarters, Kano. Who does that now, very few, I believe.
That was the Kano of yesterday. Perhaps that explained why our youth are wicked and heartless and can kill anybody to steal a GSM phone.
A single individual will gather the toddlers in the ward or crescent and get them circumcised with his money.
He will keep them in his house and provide them with fried meat and other delicacies for weeks till they healed, after which he provides them with new clothes to wear.
Who does this now? Or was it not our Elders policy to discipline any erring child in his ward without qualms from his biological father as the ‘son of a neighbor is also my son’ belief. Now even teachers are being molested by parents of a child who erred and brought to justice.
What happened to our norms and religious etiquettes and character. Just recently, a prodigal son went to a private university with a gun to show-off to his mates and fired shots which attracted the nearby commercial banks.
The arrested student bragged to a radio reporter that he would get the policemen dismissed for having the guts to take him to the Police station. Can you beat that?
Or take the instances of guys given money to go to radio stations and abuse their elders due to differences in political or other beliefs that was unknown in our society.
We allowed non-indigenes who cannot raise their voices in their states to infiltrate our city and abuse us. And we all kept quiet for fear of our fragile lives. We cannot continue living in an “Animal farm” like this and something needs to be done.
Yes, there was the influence of drugs too. Illicit drugs were daily finding their way into Kano and our youths cannot do without them. Unfortunately, the importers and distributors are well known but they have the support of our own people due to the love of filthy lucre.
Money is the main thing with some of our people and if they can get it, then let everything go to blazes. So sad and unfortunate. A youth, under the influence of a dangerous substance called “ice, “killed his father last month and was undisturbed.
He was smiling that he sent his father to aljannatul fiddaus (Heaven). Can you imagine? Lack of elderly counsel is a danger to our well being and development. If we don’t have a disciplined and educated youth, then our society will be fast disintegrating like the Niagara water fall.
And then the people selling the drugs will ultimately buy the properties of the drug-addicted youths whose parents were no more. In the end, we became like Israel and the Palestinians who sold their land to a handful of Jews and are now being killed like chickens. God forbid.
It is therefore a welcome and refreshing development for the Executive Governor of Kano State, Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf to come up with the proposed Kano Elders Council (KEC).
This will be the starting point for a rescue from the infinite Golgotha facing Kano. An elder’s council should be the Think tank on our continued existence as a people and a society with rich history, education and commerce. I believe the Governor has already picked the members of the Council who must be patriotic, selfless and God-fearing.
They have the wisdom, the knowledge and experience to bring the desired change in our society and check the unfortunate drift to disrepute and self suicide.
According to a release from the Executive Governor’s Director of Press and Publicity, Sunusi Bature Dawakin-Tofa, the council will comprise of all former Governors and their Deputies, Senate Presidents or Deputies, Speakers of House of Representatives and Speakers of State Assembly and Deputies.
Retired Justices in Supreme, Appeal Courts and Chief Justice of the Federation and the State and former Secretaries to Government and Heads of Service.
The list includes leadership of the Ulama and Business Community, Traditional rulers, former Heads of Security Agencies and other distinguished elders to be identified by the government.
Though, a good and excellent collection of elders any State will be proud of, some school of thoughts were apprehensive on the capacity of some of the members included. One was objecting to the former Governors on the council who it was believed, could have made the difference when on the seat but they did not.
Another one cautioned on our Elders greedy and individualist approach which killed similar councils or effort in the past. An example was when late General Obukadata Oneya was Military Administrator and one morning a group of Kano Elders woke him up from sleep.
He was so afraid of what he has done wrong for elders to come to the Government House so early in the morning. In fact, he came to see them in his pajamas so as not to waste time.
Unfortunately for Kano and to his delight, the so called Elders told him they came to pay their respects only. Nothing for the progress of Kano. And one of them unashamedly requested for a personal favour from him.
What kind of elders one would muse. They have spilled the high regard the uniformed man had for them and he stretched his legs and did his bidding in Kano afterwards.
Another school of thought however said that there will be checks and balances on members, as anybody found to be greedy or working for himself will be shown the way out. As bystanders, we wait with open eyes to see the inauguration and the enormous work on the table of the Elders Council.
It is our hope that the Government will be stern on its aims and objectives for setting up the council and use the stick on any erring member no matter how highly placed both in the political, traditional or commercial space. The Governor should be congratulated for his gigantic action and we pray that his government prosper with the awaited guidance, expertise and knowledge of the proposed Kano Elders Council (KEC).
Musa lives in Kano.